Lisa PlouffeTeacher, Integration Facilitator, CICE, Fleming College - Peer Facilitator, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network, Sunnybrook Hospital
Joy and sorrow are intertwined; we cannot have one with truly having experienced the other. I love how Khalil Gibran speaks of these sets, saying ” together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board remember that the other is asleep upon your bed‘”. It has been comforting to me to remember, and to share with others, that sorrow and struggle is part of the life process and more importantly that we are going to be ok.
My deepest sorrows have been delivered to me through pregnancy loss and the dissolution of my marriage. These experiences h o l l o w e d me out, and tasked me with the exhausting, painful and arduous process of refilling myself back up and forging an identity that was intrinsically “me”. I was a single mama to two very young boys, I was an “ex” and I was a “child of the universe” (says my dad) trying to find my new way in the world. I am proud to say that I faced these roles bravely and with love – love for myself, and love for those with whom I found myself in conflict. “I am enough” was sprawled on sticky notes; it was journaled, danced, crafted, yoga’d, cried and sang.
I have learned that loss is loss and one traumatic event can bleed into another so much so that it is hard to determine where one pain ends and the other begins. You and I need not have the same kind of losses or struggles to be able to have empathy or compassion for each other. I believe in hope and I believe that even in the darkest of moments that we can take the high road. I believe that we can always speak our truth but that we need to do so kindly and with intention. I believe that we can always find a glowing lustre if we just turn our cheeks towards the right direction.
There is a transformative power in sharing our stories with others. I feel privileged that through my volunteerism with PAIL, and the community events I facilitate, that I can meet people in their grief and help shine a light into their darkness, that I can help others remember that they are not alone and that our sorrows do not make us worth any less and that we are going to be ok.